25 Big Time Ways to Get PR for Your Book

Self-published your book and not sure how to get others to notice it!  No problem these tips will help you market like a pro.

  • Get media attention – pitching the media. Securing interviews with various media is an excellent way to promote your book. Make sure your pitch is well-planned, clearly showing why you are the expert in your field, and outlines your experience appearing on radio and TV. Also, just because you wrote a book is not news, you need to talk more about how that book can make a difference or why their audience would love it.
  • Radio Shows – One way to get more PR for your book is to do radio shows. Fortunately there are so many shows available today and constantly are looking for great guests. In fact, it was recently mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine that 57 million Americans are now tuning in. One benefit of doing radio is that you can do it from the convenience of your own home or office with no traveling required.   Remember pitch the shows that fit your book and you.  That show on benefits of going organic, is not going to appreciate your book on building a business. Write down sound bites that clearly discusses your book, you, the topic of your book, etc.  (The Q&A from your media kit can be used here.)  Remember when doing a show to keep it conversational and fun, always following the hosts lead.  And add these to your media page on your website and be sure to promote the show yourself.  Shows will have you back more when they see their numbers increase.
  • TV – Know that if you haven’t been on TV before, big named shows are not as likely to bite, so start locally and on a smaller scale.  Build up to the bigger names one and always add any media you get to your press page, your bio, and any pitches.  Watch the shows so you have a good idea how they work.  Dress the part and be confident.  Yes, you’ll be nervous, but remember you did something sensational that not everyone can do … you wrote a book and are an author.  It helps!
  • Local Media – Connect with your local media and let them know you have a new book out. But be sure to give them a reason why they would want to interview you.  Again, the fact that you live in their area and wrote something isn’t enough. You need to pitch them on why their audience would be interested.  What unique angle can you bring to the plate?  Keep in mind too, you can often target these towards holidays or special events if you have a book that relates on these topics.  There always seems to be a day or month for something (i.e., talk like a pirate day.)
  • Book Reviews. Getting book reviews is so important. There are numerous professional book reviewers who review books professionally and it’s good to send pitches to them. We use Cision to look for reviewers and all of our media, but there are others out there as well.  Just make sure it’s targeted and send exactly what they ask.  When you do your homework, it shows.  Also, it’s great to ask for those who know you as well to write a review, just don’t be that person that spams their friends.  Also, have a promotion strategy with a big push at the beginning, but then continue to seek and secure reviews on a monthly basis. It’s a commitment that will pay off by keeping your book in the public eye. Also, know timing is critical when securing book reviews as a few of the larger book review sites require the galley two to three months in advance.
  • Blog Tours. In today’s online world, blog tours are an economical way to promote your book as well as your expertise. Create your pitch and send it to blog sites that may want to have you as guest blogger or connect with you in some other way such as doing a good review or perhaps a contest. Be sure your pitch is clear on the topic and why you would be the perfect fit for their site. Also, offer several options such as being a guest blogger, providing a Q&A, hosting a contest, etc.
  • Blogging is a great way to get PR about your book. It allows you to connect with your readers, as well as those who are just curious about you, but haven’t yet taken the plunge as a devoted fan. Blogging builds relationships, allows you to share more about yourself than just what appears in your book, and it’s the perfect place to post your book reviews or ask for reviews.  Be consistent with your blogging and whenever you add a new blog posting, mention it on all your social media channels.
  • Book Clubs – Promote your book through book clubs. Offer a discount and also offer to answer questions throughout.  Be personable and show them why it would be to their advantage to host you.
  • Press Releases. An aggressive press release campaign can be one of your best and most cost-effective ways to promote your book. It not only brings exposure to your book , but it rocks your SEO results and backlinks. Your release can cover the launch of your book, any great reviews you received, an upcoming book tour or book signing, any speaking engagements you have up and coming, any radio appearances, etc.  Remember the most important basis for a press release – it has to be newsworthy.  Get in the habit of writing releases on a regular basis and also be sure in your press release to include the call to action—buy my book, do a review, come to my book signing, etc.
  • Writing Articles – Write articles on the topic in your book. It is a great way to promote your book or show your expertise. For example, say you have a business book on starting a virtual assistant business. You can write articles on how to start a VA business, how to work with virtual assistants, pricing, etc.  Use your articles to pitch magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc. who write on your topic.  Often they will include the entire article. You can also add your articles to your newsletter, blogs, etc.
  • Create a media kit – it’s great to have a media kit that you can add to your site as well as send when requested from the media. A media kit can consist of sales page, pitch (cover letter), press release, bio, Q&A, excerpts, and testimonials.  No need for a huge media kit these days.  Just the basics so you can share more about your book.  We use the pitch (cover letter) and press release to also send out to the media, so it helps that way as well.
  • Newsletter –On your website have a signup box to your newsletter. Send out a newsletter at least once a month if not more.  This is your way to get personal and show fans more about you.  Let them know of upcoming books, speaking opportunities, etc.
  • Book promotion and speaking go hand in hand. Use your book to get more speaking engagements, and use your speaking engagements to promote your book. Plan well in advance, and look for opportunities locally, online and around the country. Your colleagues and others in your professional circle can also be a great resource for speaking opportunities, and are typically always happy to share their knowledge and ideas. Also, you can find speaking opportunities by doing internet searches on speaking opportunities and your topic.  Also, set up Google alerts to find more.  Once you find them, send a well-crafted pitch on why you are perfect for their audience.
  • Teleseminars / Webinars – Absolutely be in the habit of doing these, especially if your book is business related. You get to show your expertise, but also many use teleseminars as a way to get more to sign up for their email list.  The key is to really give value.  Too many webinars are 5 minutes of content and 55 minutes of sales pitch.  Not good! Give value and they will want to hear more from you.
  • Book Signings – What a great way to celebrate being an author. First connect locally to not only bookstores in your area, but perhaps your local library.  Don’t limit it to only those though.  If your book is focused on a specific topic, see what businesses or organizations may be interested as well. Know that you can continue to do book signings even after the initial launch. So many do this, plan book signings at the beginning and then stop.  Don’t be that author!  Continually make this a part of your marketing, not only for sales, but to keep you front and center in front of your favorite fans!
  • Networking – Get involved. Look for groups in your area that would be a good fit and attend regularly.  Be picky.  In the beginning you might attend more until you find the right groups, but once you find good fits, spend your valuable time there. And this isn’t just for writer’s groups, although those rock.  Are there any business groups that have your targeted audience in them, maybe some sci-fi groups or mystery groups?  Keep looking. The secret here though is not to overcommit.  Know these take time so watch your schedule so you too can enjoy them and not feel stressed.
  • Social Media –Get active and stay active on social media and connect with your fans. They love seeing the face behind the book. Remember the 80/20 rule.  80 percent engagement, 20 percent pitching. You can include excerpts from your books, any reviews you get, business tips, motivational quotes, images, contests, upcoming events and any press you get, etc.  Plus, have fun with it.  And most importantly, remember it’s better to have a smaller number of really engaged fans, than thousands of those who aren’t.
  • Paid Advertising – Yes do it! Sure it costs a little, but budget accordingly.  You get your book and you in front of the right people when you do.
  • Facebook Ads. – It pays to spend some money and get additional exposure for your book as well as your Facebook Book Page. Be sure to target your audience when you set up an ad, and make it visually appealing.  Set the budget so you can see results.
  • Google Ads – The benefit to Google ads is that you find the keywords that really work. To get front page status, you have to pay more for certain keywords.  The good news … you can use those keywords in your everyday marketing.  Yeah buddy, it works!
  • Book Business Cards – Carry business cards of your book with the cover on them and contact information. Get into the habit of passing them out often. Also, if speaking at an event have cards with your book and cards with your information.  A nicely crafted postcard works great!
  • Website – You want to have a website for your book or at minimum a page on your site specifically for your book. Also, know just having a website isn’t enough.  You also have to keep it updated, making sure to keep it updated and easy to purchase your book.  So many develop a website and never come back again.  Big mistake!
  • Promote through Your Other Books – Use your other books. If you sell multiple books in the shopping cart, have it set up so it shows other books they might be interested in.
  • Excerpts from your book – Get into the habit of taking excerpts from your book and creating social media postings, blog postings, creating articles, etc. It’s a great way to show what’s in your book and get more engagement. Also, you can add these to your media kit as well.
  • Always carry a copy of your book with you – When someone asks about it, be proud and tell them about it. Don’t be shy in telling them how they can purchase it.  (Just don’t be pushy!)
  • Family, Friends & Associates – Yes, your family, friends and associates can be key in promoting your book and most are thrilled to help. (You can even send PDF copies to some to cut down on expenses of not having to send a hard copy.)  It’s okay to tell them how best they can help as many just aren’t sure.  Ask for reviews, tell them to share with their friends and family, post on social media, and don’t forget to invite them to your book launching party.  Just don’t be that friend that all you talk about now is your book and forget the value of your friendship.
  • BONUS TIP — YOU! The best way to sell your book is to be a good example.  Be the author that engages with fans and truly cares.  Be the author that doesn’t overextend and burden your social media with constantly only selling your book.  Be the author that has a great book and you are proud of it.

See how easy it can be to market your book.  Get in the habit of doing these regularly.

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA  and So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom. Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included and follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

 

Why You Need a Virtual Assistant Coach To Grow Your VA Business

Want to succeed in your virtual assistant business?  Who doesn’t, right?  Well, it’s often not as easy as it seems.  And it helps to have a secret weapon — an experienced virtual assistant who can help.  You know the ole’, been there, done that, let me show you how it’s done routine that actually works!

Why struggle with your business when you can learn from someone and not only get up and running quicker, but continue to see success on a regular basis.

So what all can a Virtual Assistant (VA) coach do?  Well …. Let’s break it down.

Here are a few things a VA coach can help with:

  • Establishing Your Pricing – Ever send out a proposal and thought, “Wow, that was too high, they will never hire me.” Or worse yet, “Man, I’m working for nothing. I totally bid that wrong. Why did I do that?”  Even the best of us have done this.  But with the right plan and review of your clients, services, skills, experience, etc., you can feel good about your pricing and know it’s right for you.  Plus, I bet you find you will charge quite a bit more than you thought you could or may be charging currently once you have that “pricing discussion” with your coach.
  • Getting Clients – Why does everyone else seem to be having an endless supply of clients and here you sit with the phone not ringing and the bank account not growing. Getting clients is hard!  Yes, of course it gets easier as you do more of the right things, but even then, it’s challenging. A virtual assistant coach can review everything and come up with a strategy specific for your business. You often hear, find your ideal client and then the magic happens once you do.  That is really true.  However, what I’ve come to discover is many of my clients who weren’t really that perfecto for me, turned into the longest running, best clients ever.  So a VA coach can help you find clients who will continue to make your business grow, while you enjoy all the benefits of loving your biz.
  • Marketing – Hi Ho, Hi ho, a marketing we go! Social media, networking, referrals, writing articles and blog postings, paid ads, oh my!  You hear so much of what you should be doing and are probably overwhelmed by it all so you do nothing. A good virtual assistant coach will create a marketing plan that works for you and show you ways to implement them. They take into account your strengths and weaknesses and where they feel you will market best – that means, market on a regular basis.  Plus, as they get to know you more, they will see just what you enjoy doing most and can offer marketing ideas with that in mind.
  • Determining your niche – What are you passionate about? What skills do you possess that you can do with your eyes closed?  (Well, maybe not technically closed, but that you feel real comfortable doing.) That helps determine your niche.  But also, it’s important to make sure your niche allows you to make money.  Remember that bank account that isn’t growing we talked about earlier, we need to do something about that.  Finding the right niche allows you to match your skills, experience, passion, with the right services that will allow you to work with clients who need those services.  Bamm … it’s that easy!
  • Setting Up Shop – Setting up your daily operational procedures can be just as important as getting those clients. Why?  Because if done wrong, it can cost you time and money.  Contracts, boundaries, procedures, not getting paid, working 24/7, you get it.  Lots and lots to consider.  You hear so many of the horror stories of not getting paid; clients calling at 2:00 at night and wanting the work back by noon the next day; being on call 24/7 and making 3 cents an hour when you consider the time you were available, etc.  That’s why a VA coach and guide you to make better choices and when you get in a bind, help you out of it. How do you spell relief — V –A  – C –O-A –C – H!
  • Referrals and Friendship – Best part about hiring a VA coach is the friendship that will ensue and also how many clients you might actually get from it. Many coaches when they train virtual assistants also recommend them to their clients and potential clients if they know it’s a good match.  They trained you and therefore feel good about doing so.

Don’t do it alone.  Look for a coach today to help you get clear, focused, excited, passionate, and finally start reaping the benefits of your skills and experience.  Look for one that is fun to work with so you look forward to those calls or emails.  And look for one who you feel confident will take you where you want to go in the least amount of time.  See how easy that can be!

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching and PR and Marketing services. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA. Follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

 

 

 

Money Management Tips for Virtual Assistants & Small Business Owners

Money management is one of those topics many virtual assistants and small business owners routinely put off and hope for the best.  It’s front and center on the mind on April 1st in anticipation of the April 15th tax deadline, but then it goes straight to the back burner for the rest of the year.  Bookkeeping and money management are best practiced year-round. When done this way, it gives you rewards of more money, more peace of mind, and above all else, a happy IRS!

Smart business owners know the importance of good money management and apply tactics in their business to actually help them.  The following tips are sure to help.

Best Money Management Tips For Your Virtual Assistant Business

Be Smart And Continually Learn More – Learn as much as you can from the get go.  It’s often said it’s not how much money you earn, but what you do with it that counts.  Totally applies to business decisions regarding money management and budgeting. Follow those you know on social media who offer business and money tips.  Read all you can and know that especially in March and April many will be posting more business tips.  When you see a tip you like, keep it and see how it can apply to your own business.

Track Your Income and Expenses – Seems silly to state the obvious here, but you’d be surprised at the number of business owners who haven’t got a clue about their operating costs, net income/loss, cash flow—none of it. It’s easy to see all of the income and expenses you incur on a regular basis if you keep records and write everything down.  Don’t close your eyes (and your Quickbooks file) and hope things works out.  By writing everything down or entering it into accounting software, you are well aware of your business status and can then plan business finances and make smart decisions on a regular basis.

If you don’t have accounting software that’s okay… log it all in a binder or Excel spreadsheet.  For large purchases (anything over $100)  include item description, use in business, date purchased, what you paid, and any model or serial numbers.  Then you have an accurate accounting of items for tax purposes, an insurance record, and for software user licenses.

Budget for The Year Ahead & Start Making Good Choices – Create a budget and stick with it as best you can.  Be honest and know that each year you will get better at this. Put away money for taxes.  Save for expenses.  And don’t buy things you can’t afford.  Review this budget throughout the year.  Honestly nothing beats looking at your budget and realizing how well you are doing.

Also, know that with your virtual assistant business, income might differ month to month. On those rock’n months, put extra away to compensate for any slower months or invest it back into your business.

Review Your Books Monthly.  How much did you make?  How much did you spend?  Were these smart decisions or are there ways you can improve.  While many business owners review their accounts monthly, they don’t spend time looking for ways to improve.  That’s where the magic happens.  By reviewing and analyzing them you also see if you need to make major business adjustments and also can identify trends so you can plan accordingly for upcoming years.

This cannot only save you money, it will also allow you to see if there are any mistakes.  Yes, mistakes happen.  For example, were any automatic payments taken out that shouldn’t have and more?  While you are reviewing these, take a minute to consider if you are fully utilizing the services you are paying for.  Is there a cheaper alternative that can still give you similar results?

Pay Yearly When Possible – If you know you have ongoing expenses, whenever possible pay for the year instead of making monthly payments. This can save you a considerable amount of money as normally businesses give discounts for annual payments.  Web hosting is a good example of this. Look for other cost saving tips as well.

Make Money by Being an Affiliate – For those services you use on a regular basis, consider signing up as an affiliate. Refer colleagues to this service you know, like and trust so they can reap the same benefits in their business. As a result, you can earn affiliate commission to help offset your costs for using the product or service.

Put Money Away – We hear you, who has extra to do this?  But once it becomes a habit you will find you don’t even miss the money.  Set up a schedule that works for you. Start small if you need to with the main goal of simply getting into the habit of saving.  Put it in a savings account.  This can be your emergency fund for when your computer gives you the blue screen of death or your accountant says you owe more than you thought.

Good money management helps you get—and stay—excited about your business. Done right, it will enable you to save more money and invest wisely, in the right areas. When you have a good handle on your money matters it will directly result in a more successful and satisfying experience as a small business owner.  Ultimately, knowing what the bottom line is will enable you to better focus on the right areas of your business. Or, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve got things under control.

Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA. Stop by their site for complete information on starting your own VA business http://www.va-theseries.com.  Connect with them on Twitter at @learntobeava or at facebook.com/becomeava

 

Entrepreneur tips – Overcoming business challenges: 5 Ways to Get Back Your Business

Running your business definitely has its challenges. It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference.

Here are a few tips to overcome your business challenges:

  • Letting others know your value.  So many business owners just don’t understand fully what all you do because they aren’t doing the work.  You need to let them know.  It’s not bragging, it’s good business sense.  For example, with PR and marketing, it’s important to be able to explain to clients exactly what they are getting.  Let’s say you land them in major media.  Not only should you let them know that it happened, but also provide the stats on that site so they see how great it is and what they can expect.  Also, to get more out of each media mention, provide additional information on how they can utilize their social media (people they already know them) to showcase this media attention.  So whatever your business, find ways to do the follow-up showing all you accomplish for your clients and why it benefits them.
  • Keeping consistent income.  Here again, many business owners suffer from this and the feast or famine of their business.  One month you are rock’n and can barely keep up, and then the next month crickets.  You often crave the stability of a regular paycheck.  Well, you can make that happen. One way is to offer retainer services whereby every month clients will retain your services.  Even though it’s at a slight lower rate, depending on how many hours they secure, it’s beneficial as it provides regular income.  Another method might be to offer programs that are set up on a monthly basis.  This differs for so many businesses and how they can set it up, but the bottom line remains the same – keep income coming in regularly.
  • Overcoming a Bad Experience. Have you ever had something happen in your business that well didn’t go according to plan?  Say you spoke and no one ended up buying your book or becoming clients.  Your new program that you spent months on, didn’t fly. Perhaps a client wasn’t 100% satisfied with your services.  Believe it or not, this happens to most of us at one time or another.  Yes, you could sit back and never speak again, or mope and settle for less income by not going after new clients, or you can reboot and start fresh.  That’s the one to go with.  We know that loss of confidence can really hurt.  However, the real pros know to move on.  First, take a few minutes and examine your role.  Could you have done something different?  If so, next time do it.  (That was easy!).  Next build your confidence back.  Read your client testimonials or talk with associates. Do anything and everything to rebuild your confidence because honestly even saying it doesn’t bother you, more than likely it does.  Then get back on the horse again only this time with renewed confidence and perhaps a few changes in how you do things.  Will you fall again?  Of course you will at some time.  But will you always grow learning from your experiences, absolutely!
  • Not Pricing Correctly.  If I had a nickel for every time that I did this, well I could make up for my pricing mistakes.  Seriously though, this happens.  You underbid on a project finding out it takes five times longer than you anticipated.  You price a course and then realize that you are giving away the farm.  Or you simply discover your hourly rate is way below what it should be.  Not to fear.  It’s fixable. The most important thing you can do is to learn from this and correct the situation.  You might not be able to up your rate with the current client, just you can learn from your mistake and never do it again.  Also, don’t disregard talking with your client about it.  Sometimes they understand.  However, know that if its your mistake, you shouldn’t make them pay unless they are willing to.
  • Time Management – Pricing mistakes often are made because you didn’t realize the time involvement.  So get used to timing yourself.  Yes, get the timer out and work for a specific amount of time on that task and see how long it takes.  Simple!  Also, get a day planner and write down your day for a week or two (or forever!) or get used to using some of the many valuable time management programs available today.  Time is money and if you are not keeping track of it and utilizing your time in the best possible way, well there it goes, clunk clunk … down the drain.

Business challenges are a part of business. So get used to dealing with them and also get used to learning methods of rising above them.  Be great at what you do, do what you are passionate about, and finally seek help when needed.  Let’s chat about your business challenges.  Post away!

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Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA  and So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom. Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included and follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

 

Entrepreneurs – Building and Maintaining a Successful Business Year After Year

Having your own business for the most part totally rocks! You’re the boss. You get to decide what goes on in the day-to-day operations, and most importantly you have a big influence in how fat that bank account looks. Life is good!  But as many entrepreneurs will admit, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. And especially for those that have been in business for years, it can be challenging to keep excited about their biz. Not too worry, we are here to help.

Here Are Tips on Building and Maintaining a Successful Business

You need to remain passionate about what you are doing. That’s the only way to keep going and face those odds, exhaustion and temptation to throw in the towel. You aren’t going to love what you do every day, but on the whole you have to believe in it and want to continue doing it.

Day to Day Business – You have to work your business right. And when you’ve been in business a while, let’s admit it, we can get just a tad bit lazy or bored. You don’t have the same jump and down ambition that you had in the early days, and that’s AOK. But you do need to once in a while give yourself a jumpstart. When you notice that you are getting tired and cranky of doing the same thing day in and day out and things take you three times longer because your heart just isn’t into it, that can be a sign a change is needed. Continue reading

PR Checklist for 2015 – Get Back Into the Swing of Things with These Tips to Maximize Business Success

Hard to believe  it’s March already and the holidays are a distant memory.  By now, some resolutions are probably already broken and everyone is back into the same ole’ same ole’ of 2014.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  There is still time to take action to make 2015 the year that your business sees the success it deserves.  Still time to get re-energized and passionate about your business once again, and still time to remember why you started in the first place.  Make 2015 the year you love your business back to success.

Here are some tips to help along the way:

Website – Change Your Copyright Date – Check and make sure the copyright date is changed.  When someone visits your site and they see an old copyright, they don’t initially run away screaming it’s so last year, but they do lose just a tad bit of confidence in you.  Don’t let that happen.  Change the copyright date ASAP or have your trusty web designer do it for you.

Add New Clients & Testimonials to Your Website – The first of the year is a great time to look at your website’s client page and see just how up-to-date it is.  Take the time to add in the clients you’ve worked with over the past year and see about getting new testimonials.  Remember, many look to that page to see if they “fit” with the clients you work with, so show them that they do.  Also, now that you’ve done this review, take a few minutes to consider the services you did for these clients.   It might be time to update your services page with those new things and, while you are at it, be sure to add any marketing you need to land more of those clients. Continue reading